Monday 26 December 2016

Missed Classic 33: Geisha (1990) - Introduction

Written by Ilmari

Watch out, I see a nipple!

I am going to reveal a secret, known only by few persons.
Oregon Trail was not the first game I played in the hope of blogging it for The Adventure Gamer.

Back when Trickster was still in charge of TAG, it seemed for a while that Emmanuelle would be the first game that could be played as a Guest Game. I thought doing a Guest Game might be a fun experience, so I tried my luck with the game and survived to write the first game review in my life. And then some regular commenter convinced others that the game was worth Trickster’s time.

I still vouch for my words

My quest for completing Muriel Tramis’s early works has finally taken me to a point, when I again have to endure an erotic game from Tomahawk, the subsidiary of Coktel Vision. This is Geisha that will be the topic of our annual Welcoming the Turn of the Year Week posts. I hope I won’t have to regret my decision to play this piece of art.

They sure liked their colour charts at Coktel Vision -
 all the games I’ve played thus far have had one.
In fact, they have used the exactly same colour chart,
which just makes the whole idea a bit redundant.

Because some of the material in the forthcoming Geisha-posts might be a bit unsuitable for our younger audience, we have decided to use an old trick from Leisure Suit Larry -games. We have made up a multiple choice quiz that should positively weed out all too young readers. Because we are also worried about the ticky tickers of our elderly readers, the quiz will furthermore be surely failed by too old persons. Because this is a retro game site, the quiz is suitably dated - it is designed for persons who had their teenage in the nineties. And oh yes, the first one to post the right set of answers in the comments wins 20 CAPs!

Warning!!!!!! Take the test before continuing further!

“But wait, I can read this without taking the test!”
"You did what??? Shame on you !!"


The first screens of the game are at least good looking, and there’s some groovy enough music playing in the background during the credits - it sure shows that the DOS version of Emmanuelle was not a good choice. As for the opening itself, I really don’t understand what is going on, so it’s time to look at the manual.

Could someone explain what I am looking at here?

When you combine a female with a robot you get…?

...a broken glass container?

I have no idea who this peeping Tom is

In addition to the normal help for getting the game to run and for controlling the game, the manual contains a story of the game. That is, not just the background of the game, like in Legend of Djel, but the plot of at least the beginning sections. I guess the pretty pictures took so much space that the story had to be covered in the manual. I won’t reveal the whole plot here, but I will refer to the manual as I’ll get further in the game.

The game begins in Paris, in chic apartment in Montparnasse district. The hero of the game is looking at the world through a camera. And CLICK… doing anything else, but moving the camera around sends you to the next segment.

This just smells of a dead end bait. You can take a photo of a one place in the room, and the photograph then appears in your inventory. I have a feeling I need to take a picture at just a precise spot or otherwise I will at some point have to begin the whole game anew.

Should it be the stereos?

Or perhaps the calendar with Japanese symbols?

This is the beloved of the nameless hero, Eva.
Manual says she is “moving sensually and erotically.”
I’d call that sitting in an awkward position.

The manual is the only place telling me what happens after I take the photo. Apparently a man tattooed like “Samurai” knocks the hero, while a “Sumo” fighter grabs Eva on his shoulders. After that, the two men carry Eva to a limousine and vanish.

The hero comes to the conclusion that the two gentlemen were Yakusas. Apparently some Japanese researcher had wanted Eva to assist him as a “de-luxe Geisha”. Poor Eva was actually an astrophysicist and she was emotionally hurt by all the men ogling her, when she was giving a presentation on a conference.

Actually, that last bit sounds quite intriguing. I bet back in those days it was quite usual that female researchers were not taken as seriously as their fellow males - and that attitude was especially true, when the woman in question was considered sexually interesting. Could it be that instead of a ridiculous piece of would-be erotica I am actually playing a game with a real message?

The next segment takes place in Tokyo, where the hero has booked a three-star ryokan in the Ginza district.

According to manual, folding screen educates young
 girls so that they can please their future husbands

The sparsely decorated room had some objects to interact with. Firstly, there’s the cupboard. Opening a door revealed an ad for Li-Fou’s submarine city Nereis. The ad was weirdly interactible - I could look up the various types of sea animals and sectors of Nereis these animals lived in. I suspect I’ll need this info at some future point.

I can just imagine how fun it was back in the day trying
 to find out what animal species these Latin words meant

The locker of the cupboard contained something that looked like a small matchbox.

Except it was empty

At the table was a bottle of Hinoki oil. The manual told me that coating hands with this stuff would help me capture bugs, which are paralysed by its smell. And indeed, there was a cricket sitting in a bonsai on a table (good luck I was so thorough, since the cricket was only one pixel in size). If I tried to take it without anointing my hands, I saw a cute animation, where the small cricket ran away and vanished forever. When I anointed my hands, I could easily capture the cricket into the empty matchbox. I have no idea what I’ll do with the thing, but I guess it must become important, since this strange ritual was described in the manual.

This doesn’t look tempting

I wonder if it is important that it is a female cricket?
(And if the game involves carnal interaction with crickets,
 I am going to have a major headache)

Our hero has also purchased from Narita Airport the most modern piece of multi-media interactivity - the HYPERMED. The buttons on the lower part of the hotel room screen supposedly represent the key-accessible functions of the HYPERMED. It’s a cool gadget, because it allows you to save and load - a feature I dearly missed in all Coktel Vision games thus far. It also lets me use my inventory, look at my messages (at the moment, none) and travel to different locations (at the moment, nowhere).

But wait, there’s more! HYPERMED gives me access to SEXYTEL, which contains ads to read and games to play. Manual tells me that the games are actually minigames which I’ll eventually have to play during my adventures and SEXYTEL provides me an opportunity to practice them in advance. Thus, I’ll leave describing them to another post.

You can even play them with a partner!

The ads describe the Tokyo’s three most daring houses, and by reading the story in manual, I know I will have to visit each of them.

I guess this is where the intro happened

I am pretty sure geisha balls can be found with my local pharmacist,
but I am positive it won’t be as easy to get them in this game

The game was published in 1990 and set in year 1993 - did they really
think holographic projection would be invented in three years?

There’s also an ad for tsuki-pastilles, which you can order and add to your inventory.

I think I got this same ad to my personal e-mail today

The final service I could access with my HYPERMED was PREDICTEL consultation. PREDICTEL provided me, firstly, with an astrology service, which I could use to find out the lovemaking properties of different signs.

Chinese signs, that is

Let’s see what I got

PREDICTEL also offered me a live second sight service with Sensei Isuzu, who apparently already knew of my quest and set me up with someone called Elegant Cricket, who had the same enemy as I did.

So Skype was invented already back in the 90s?

After talking with Sensei, I could now visit someone called Mr. O - the manual told me that’s the same person as Elegant Cricket. Choosing to travel, I entered the first numbered scene of the game.

This appears to be a good spot to end my first post. It’s still a bit early to say, whether I like the game or not. Certainly lot of things have improved from Emmanuelle, but the clear admission that there will be minigames to handle makes me a bit wary.

Time:1 hour
Total time: 1 hour

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